Media Beat: November 11, 2021

By David Farrell

Canadian publishing industry calls on Ottawa to limit market concentration amid U.S. federal antitrust lawsuit

Canadian publishers, authors and industry leaders are calling on Ottawa to follow the lead of the U.S. Justice Department to protect independent Canadian publishers, as the American government takes two major publishers to court for anti-competitive dealings.

In a bid to fend off further consolidation in an already concentrated market, the Biden administration said on Nov. 2 it was suing publishing giant Penguin Random House to prevent it from acquiring rival Simon & Schuster for US$2.2-billion. The merger would see the Canadian operations of the two companies combined. – Irene Galea, The Globe and Mail

Shaw rises on Rogers decision, narrowing gap with takeover bid

Shaw Communications Inc. rose as much as 3.1% after a Canadian court gave Edward Rogers board control of Rogers Communications Inc. -- settling, for now, a legal dispute that was threatening to delay a takeover deal between the two companies.  


It was the biggest jump for Shaw since March 16, the day after it announced the deal to be taken over by Rogers for $40.50 a share. – Derek Decloet, Bloomberg

Levelling the playing field: The rise of litigation funding in Canada

The prohibitively high cost of litigation is arguably one of the main barriers to access to justice in Canada. As in many other legal markets, the soaring cost of legal fees has created an impediment to even well-resourced parties bringing the most meritorious of claims. “Litigation funding” or “third-party funding” is a way of surmounting this barrier. Litigation funding has become a very well-established, judicially recognized, and commercially useful tool in the United Kingdom, Australia, and in the United States, but is a relatively nascent phenomenon in Canada. While the first approval of a private-funding arrangement in Canada occurred in 2009 (Hobsbawn v ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd., (14 May 2009), Calgary 0101-04999 (Alta QB)), the Supreme Court of Canada (the “SCC”) in 2020 has commented that the jurisprudence in this area is “still evolving” (9354-9186 Québec Inc. (Bluberi) v Callidus Capital Corp, 2020 SCC 10. [Bluberi] at para 95). – Maria Decker, Above The Law


Why Facebook’s Metaverse is DOA

People have been talking about this future for decades and it never really comes close to what anyone has envisioned. The question is, why is there a renewed focus? It comes down to this: If we had a metaverse that dictated our relationships, a place where we kept assets and interacted with politics, then whoever controls that metaverse is the closest thing we have to a scientific god. The reason this is getting so much attention is because everyone is freaked out by the idea of a scientific god named Mark Zuckerberg. – James D. Walsh, The Intelligencer

The battle for the last unclaimed land on earth

Bir Tawil belongs to no country; or rather, it belongs to two and neither of them wants it. It is the last unclaimed, habitable land on earth. 

Wedged in at the border of Egypt and Sudan, a unique geopolitical oddity is carved out of the sand. A diplomatic void without parallel, it has captured the imagination of thrill-seekers, filmmakers and wannabe statesmen alike.  – Robert O’Connor, Vice

Not a game show: Ex-TV star at center of Lebanon-Saudi row

George Kordahi was popular among TV viewers in the Middle East for his dapper charm. He schmoozed with beautiful women, dropped jokes and recited lines of Arabic poetry — all the while weighing in with his political opinions about the region’s events.


Now the former host of the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” is Lebanon’s information minister, and those opinions have landed Kordahi at the center of his country’s worst-ever crisis with Saudi Arabia. – Sarah El Deeb, AP

'La nuit s’achève' album cover


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